Kid wins contest to be a sportscaster


| jlyons@queenscourier.com |



While most kids were spending Tuesday, September 8 getting ready to go back to school, 10-year-old Kyle Singh was announcing half an inning of a Mets game in the Sports New York (SNY) booth to end his summer vacation.

Singh, of Jamaica, was the winner of the SNY Kidcaster Contest, which was presented by New York’s 529 College Savings Program Direct Plan.

In the first round of the contest, close to 600 children between the ages of seven and 15 submitted essays about their favorite Mets player. Of those, 10 finalists were selected to go to SNY’s street-level studio. While there, they read their essays to the judges, watched a video of a homerun and called it, and answered questions.

“Kyle was by far and away the best,” said Joe Pospisil, the Director of Digital Media Sales at SNY. He also said that Singh was passionate, comfortable, prepared and natural.

Singh’s mother, Rachina, said that the contest was something that he really wanted to do, and that he did almost everything on his own, except for actually submitting the entry.

In order to prepare for his SNY debut, Singh said he put the television at home on mute and then did the broadcast himself.

Singh and his family got to watch the September 8 game against the Florida Marlins from a field level suite right behind home plate. At the end of the second inning, Singh was taken to the booth, and was all smiles when he ran into SNY broadcaster Kevin Burkhardt in the hall, who asked Singh not to take his job.

At the bottom of the third inning, with the Mets up at bat, Singh went into the booth with Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez to announce the game.

“I listen to you guys every day and you guys are so good,” the fifth grader told them. “I want to be just like you guys.”

As Singh called the inning, Cohen joked, “You’ve done this before.”

Singh even created his own call for the game, using the analogy of a sandwich to describe the pitcher trying to strikeout the batter. The three strikes represented different parts of the sandwich.

“I think everyone liked that sandwich play,” Singh said, who called hits by Luis Castillo and Angel Pagan.

As Singh’s announcing came to an end, Cohen said, “We look forward to having you here again when you take my job in 10 years.”

After Singh was finished, he made his way back to the suite and was given congratulations, high-fives and applause.

“It was awesome,” Singh said afterwards. “I love sitting with the guys in the booth.”

Singh’s mother and father, Menaninder, watched their son on a television in the suite. They said they were very proud of him and that it was an unbelievable achievement.

Singh said that he wants to be a sportscaster when he grows up and that he likes it because he can be himself while announcing. He also thought that it was cool that his fellow classmates got to see him on TV.

“Now all the kids will know me,” he said.